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Blackbirds

by Chuck Wendig

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Miriam Black (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7677122,329 (3.7)52
The first book in the Miriam Black series: "A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant" (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future. Miriam Black knows how you're going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can't do anything about it, or stop trying to. She's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you--skin to skin contact--and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she'll have to try. "Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk" (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.… (more)
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» See also 52 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
Well, hot damn, this was a fun ride.

I've been a long time reader of Wendig's terribleminds.com website, and I've picked up a couple of his writing guides, and I've even met him once, so I know what a twisted individual he can be. But this is my first rodeo with his fiction, and I wasn't sure he could channel all that craziness into a long form narrative.

Yeah. He can.

Miriam Black is a fun, broken character that I'm looking forward to finding out more about her and her world.

Fun side note: When I met Chuck, I purchased this book and got him to autograph it. Turns out, if the reader is willing, Chuck predicts your manner of death in the autograph. Mine states, "You will be mobbed by angry spirits pissed off at your treatment of them in your popular spirit guide."

So. I know I'm going to write a spirit guide. I know it will be popular. And I know it will kill me. Thanks, Chuck. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
I really liked this book, but it is very violent/gory. Miriam Black is afflicted with a burden of being able to see a person's death when she touches them. She lives a dangerous life on the road, and gets involved with a guy, who has stolen a briefcase from some thugs determined to retrieve it. Meanwhile, she finds Louis, a widowed trucker, who seems to ease her anxieties. Miriam's story is sad, but she is determined to help Louis when she realizes she is the cause of his death, despite her fatalism. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
I like my book heroines like I like my martinis--alcoholic and very dirty. Miriam Black is both of those things and so much more. She's a fatalistic punch to the gut and a human wrecking ball. I might not want to be friends with Miriam but I sure as hell want to follow her wherever she's going. ( )
  taimoirai | Jun 25, 2021 |
Miriam’s talent allows her to see how people will die, but not to do anything about it. She survives on the road mainly by robbing the newly dead. When a grifter figures out her ability, he plunges her into deadly danger; meanwhile, the nice trucker she met is going to die shortly, saying her name. Gritty noir horror-ish story, edging towards crapsack world without going all the way over. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Jun 24, 2021 |
I've got some mixed feelings about this book. I loved - LOVED - the first third or so but then things crept up that made me love it less. By the end, I liked the book alright but don't feel any desire to go forward with the series.

Some of the things I loved: Wendig's voice and writing style. Love much of the language and imagery and the pacing. Very gory and graphic but in a way that drew me even more into the story.

Some of the things I didn't like: The only time anyone's race was specifically stated was two Black peripheral characters. I'll keep pointing this out whenever I see it because only mentioning the race of people of color continues to perpetuate the idea that white is the norm and everyone one else is "other." White authors need to stop doing this. Thank you.

I also didn't like the small bit about the woman with super short hair either being a lesbian or someone who doesn't give a shit about her appearance anymore. Could be I'm sensitive to perpetuating that shitty stereotype but, yeah, that made me like Miriam less.

There were also some moments toward the very end that relate to Harriet and Miriam that seemed completely unbelievable to me but I won't go those here due to spoilers. Let's just say I would expect Harriet to be smarter and more cautious than she was.

I still did mostly enjoy the story. The premise was great even if I thought the resolution was pretty much what I expected the end of the journey to be. No matter what, I'm glad I finally read a book by the author. He's one of my favorite Twitter people. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chuck Wendigprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beresford, EmilyReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beresford, EmilyReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Franken, AxelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
HiFi, JoeyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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The first book in the Miriam Black series: "A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant" (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future. Miriam Black knows how you're going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can't do anything about it, or stop trying to. She's foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you--skin to skin contact--and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can't save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she'll have to try. "Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk" (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.

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Book description
When Miriam Black touches you, she can see how and when you’re going to die. This gives her the chance, in theory, to solve murders before they happen – but she discovers that fate is far more unyielding than suspected, and she soon grows to believe she cannot change the deaths she sees. She learns differently, over time, and learns that the sacrifices necessary to turn fate on its ear are bigger than expected. In the meantime, she exists as a kind of human vulture: instead of attempting to sway fate’s course she steps into it’s path, becoming a carrion bird (figuratively) who lurks at the deaths she knows are coming to steal from the dead. [Author's words from interview on Andrew Jack Writing Blog]
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